Innovation has a role in semiotics

I enjoyed Alicia Clegg’s article Just a Sign of the Times? (MW August 19), in particular her comments on how semiotics can give clients added confidence in making brand-building decisions by revealing insights into consumers’ subconscious reactions to brand imagery.

However, I do feel that in citing the examples of BT and Pot Noodle the implication was that such insights serve principally to aid the development of advertising campaigns. At Lewis Moberly we use semiotics as a key component of our proprietary process, Visual Intelligence®, to uncover fundamental

truths about category and brand codes which can form the basis of any number of decisions.

I agree that it is vital to avoid overly scholarly approaches resulting in unwieldy and uncommercial reports, but I do take issue with the comment that semiotics only involves consumers indirectly. Our approach specifically involves consumers precisely to avoid the risk of abstract intellectualism.

Finally, the article ends with the comment that it might be a mistake for researchers to innovate rather than hone their interpretative skills. Why should one preclude the other? While we would agree that ongoing improvement in analysis is clearly a laudable goal, surely if a technique provides deeper insight than conventional methodologies then it would be a mistake not to use it?

Gareth Andrews-Jones

Director of strategy and planning

Lewis Moberly

London W1

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